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Episode 24 (S2)

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Characters In Order of AppearanceEdit

SummaryEdit

Eiichiro wins the first set against Nabae but he is at Nabae's mercy during the second set. He tries to determine on how to return to the zone but this causes him to lose a set.

SynopsisEdit

Now that Eiichiro loses his best condition, he decides to take a greater risk on his strategies against Nabae even though this will lead on more mistakes. Nabae starts aiming at every possible shot of Eiichiro. He recognizes Eiichiro's strategy being similar to the strategy he used before in their match, with improved techniques. Knowing that even taking risks may not be a big help for Eiichiro to win, he decides to gamble by using a quick serve which he just learned last night. By taking advantage of the slow serve, Eiichiro strikes with his best flat serve on his next serve. While Nabae is caught off guard with the quick serve, he still manages to counter Eiichiro's flat serve.

Eiichiro takes another risky moves by prioritizing speed and power over accuracy and manages to get the set point first. On the next point, Eiichiro returns to his change-of-pace and barely wins the point as Nabae's down-the-line attack is out. However, he does not have the time to celebrate as Nabae manages to read his attack. Before the start of the second set, Miyamoto approaches Coach Aoi and talks about how Nabae manages to keep his composure during his matches. On the other hand, during the break, Nabae uses the time to analyze what he should have done and resets to original composure.

In the second set, Nabae starts overpowering Eiichiro. While Eiichiro barely counters Nabae's attacks, they are not enough to stop Nabae from breaking Eiichiro's serve at the start of the set. Eiichiro decides to determine on how to get into his best condition again - this time, at will. He starts to analyze the four situations when he felt that he was at his best condition and determines the similarities of these situations.

Eiichiro gets to keep his own service game but still fails on breaking Nabae's service game. He continues to analyze his plays in order for him to get into the zone. By then, he realizes another similarity - that he goes to that condition subconsciously and not thinking about that condition at all. On his service game, he tries to rely on his instinct while thinking on ways on activating his best condition. However, this leads to a one-sided battle and puts Eiichiro to defensive position. Even Nabae senses that Eiichiro's aggressive play vanishes in this game.

In the end, Nabae wins the second set. Eiichiro then realizes how naïve he is as he tries to get into his best condition at well without understanding it. On the final set, he recovers his determination to fight using everything he learned in the past months.

Manga & Anime DifferencesEdit

  • The scenes only present in the anime:
    • Yukichi's commentary and reaction during the match
    • Nabae's flashback regarding on the volley battle he had against Eiichiro during their match in All-Japan Junior Indoor Selectionals, Kantou Preliminaries
    • A flashback regarding Araya yelling up to the sky to release his anger
    • An illustration of "Anxiety", "Exhaustion", "Pressure", "Adversity" and "Ability" as Eiichiro wonders how he can manage to return to zone for his match
  • When Eiichiro remembers the two-step tennis that he learned in Florida, in the anime, there is a drawing of Alex and Eiichiro on top of the court they represent while in the manga, there is no drawing.
  • Some of scenes of Nabae's flashback in the manga are already included in Episode 22
  • Second Set, Nabae's first service game, when Nabae hits a down the line attack to win a point against Eiichiro:
    • In the manga, the shot is far from the singles' sideline
    • In the anime, the shot is close to the singles' sideline

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